Is the size of your plate putting your health at risk?

Is the size of your plate putting your health at risk?

When it comes to your plates and bowls, size really does matter.

By Katie Clift | 24th November 2015

When it comes to your plates, cups, bowls and glasses – size really does matter. At least that’s what the latest research is telling us.

But hold five – do you even know how big your plates, cups and bowls are? Do you even care? Why should it matter?!

Because a new study links larger bowls, cups and plates, oversized food portions and supersized deals to Queenslanders eating and drinking far too much – putting our health at risk.

Remember when your parents threatened you into finishing every last bite on your plate? Turns out that may not have been the best advice. The study showed no matter a person’s age, sex or weight – when presented with more, people couldn’t help but to eat and drink more.

Mindless eating and eating past the point of feeling full (guilty, anyone?!) can lead to weight gain and fast-track the risk of chronic disease, including some cancers. It appears to be a sizeable problem in Queensland too – more than 58 per cent of adults are overweight or obese and only 5.5 per cent eat enough fruits and veggies daily.

The good news is that simple changes to our tableware, portioning our food correctly and refusing to upsize a meal deal can have dramatic effects on our weight and overall wellbeing.

It’s important we train ourselves to eat mindfully. Avoid distractions like your smartphone or fave TV show when chowing down, and learn to recognise when you’re full – this will help limit overconsumption and weight gain.

It’s also important to balance your plate. Salads and vegetables should make up the biggest proportion of your plate – aim for at least five serves of vegetables every day.

Fill about a quarter of your plate with carbohydrate-based foods such as wholegrain bread, a medium sized potato, quinoa, rice or polenta. The final quarter of your plate should be a source of protein – think cooked lean meats, poultry, fish or eggs, lentils, chickpeas and nuts.

We’re all about living healthier and happier – so let’s put our forks down, think about what we’re eating and how much of it. We can greatly improve our weight and wellbeing by being mindful.

More information about having a healthy diet and reducing your risk of cancer is available at or 13 11 20.


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Article by Katie Clift

Brisbane born and bred, Katie Clift is Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson at Cancer Council Queensland. Catch her weekly radio show, Live Well, Be Well on 96Five, or downloadable at!


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